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Secrets of the Other Side Paperback – February 6, 2013

9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises, LLC (February 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619291002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619291003
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,271,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric's fiction often explores complications and entanglements in romance. His debut novel, Secrets of the Other Side, won three Reader Views literary awards, including Best Fiction Book of the Year. Described by critics as "an emotional journey of love, loss, and self discovery" and "an incredible coming-of-age story," the novel chronicles one gay youth's quest for love and happiness during the tumultuous eighties and nineties.

His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Of Heaven and Hell, Encore, A Likely Story, Stranded, First Time for Everything, and Best Gay Romance 2014. He earned his MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University.

Eric grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has lived in Arizona, Kansas, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Today he makes his home in Los Angeles, where he enjoys trail running, spending time with friends, and working on new short stories and his next novel.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trish Vogel on March 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Secrets of the Other Side is not just a novel for the gay male community alone. The poignant, yet funny read reviews the intricacies between gay youths and the straight people who surround them. LGBT readers will intimately relate to the young characters' experiences. Straight readers will see themselves in the pages as well -- sometimes as allies, protectors and supporters, and sometimes as unconscious perpetrators of the hardships that our culture imposes upon their LGBT brothers, sisters, daughters and sons. As a matter of fact, One doesn't need to be straight - gay or anything to enjoy this novel - or relate to it. It's just a damn good entertaining read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Jones on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
Just finished reading "Secrets of the Other Side," while I was on a business trip to New Orleans. And I have to say two things - first, the book kept me in my room and away from the siren song of Bourbon Street; and two - it's been awhile since a novel such as this as really captured my attention (span) for such a long time that I would read for 3+ hours in one sitting.

Although the book is novel, I found myself feeling like I was reading a David Sedaris autobiographical book - or because of the oddly-angled humor - John Kennedy' Toole's book "Confederacy of the Dunces."

I was born in the early 60's, so the settings, the fads and fashions all resonated with me (albeit, I'm just a tad older than the main character) - but what really struck me was how the story really pulls you in, both with the coming of age - and for the humor (hello David Sedaris!). The book reads like his "Naked" memoir.

I really got into the character and his relationships with family (mother and aunt) - and his one-to-one relationships with a variety of guys. The only thing frustrating to me was that I wish more copy would have been devoted to a few of the boy*friends.. or boyfriends... as just when you were getting into Neil and the other guy (I won't spoil it) - that piece of the story ended too soon. This is how it also reads like a memoir - almost a true telling a life. And this is all good - because when I am really enjoying a book, I like it to go on and on! (Perhaps the editor was a little too heavy-handed in tightening up the storyline?).

Anyway - a great read, very good coming of age for anyone born in the 60s and 70s! A few surprising twists that I didn't see coming btw. And that I love - when a book is unpredictable.

Two thumbs up and four stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Deacon on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Every so often I'll pick up a book that truly captures my heart and sparks my imagination, and this remarkable debut novel by Eric Gober is one of them. Masterfully written, it follows Neil Ospwinkle as he negotiates an unconventional upbringing, endures the heartache of his teenage years, and sets out as a young adult to pursue his ambition to become a make-up artist. I quickly fell in love not only with the distinctive style, but with the quirky characters and the colorful craziness of Las Vegas where the story is set.

For a boy like Neil, sensitive and extremely artistic, his is a rough childhood. Raised on a run-down trailer park on the outskirts of the city by a flighty mother and a string of unsuitable stepfathers, he has never met his real dad. It becomes apparent early on that Neil isn't like other boys his age. He has no desire to kiss a girl, and infinitely prefers playing with his Aunt Louise's make-up to tinkering with car engines. At school, however, he knows he must keep these differences buried deep inside, or else end up the victim of ridicule and bullying.

In love, it seems Neil is fated to be as unlucky as his mother. Throughout his adolescence, he gives his heart away time and time again, only to have it broken. Then, while working a casual job as a waiter as he searches for his big break, he meets Zach, a geeky college student with an easy-going nature and big dreams of his own. Finally, Neil dares to hope he has found his soul mate. But even as he is dazzled by the opportunities for aspiring make-up artists beckoning him from Los Angeles, Zach longs for the relative peace and tolerance of his native Toronto. Neil must decide what is most important to him, or risk letting happiness slip through his fingers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Fiore on May 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Secrets of the Other Side is a beautifully told tale. Every evening I sat down to read the book, I felt transported to an old trailer park in Las Vegas. The descriptions were vivid, and the stories felt so real. As I turned the pages, I could feel hot sun form sweat beads on my forehead, taste dry desert dust, and see run down trailers, old cars, and colorful characters, especially Neil's mom and his Aunt Louise in her bright makeup and cocktail waitress uniform. I fell in love with Neil Ostwinkle. He made me laugh and cry. It was refreshing to view the world through his innocent eyes, to experience his vulnerability in discovering that he is different, and to watch him grow. Even though others derided gays, including his own mother, he came to understand that being gay is okay and nothing was wrong with how he felt. I routed for him every step of the way as he transformed from a scared, shy little boy to a self-assured, confident, brave gay man ready to face the world.

I really liked how the narrative unfolded. It read like a series of catchy, punchy, interconnected short stories that came together to tell a complete life story. Each chapter was a story in and of itself, and each chapter grabbed me differently. A few times I had to set the book aside and have a good cry. But most nights I could not put the book down and go to sleep. Just one more chapter I kept telling myself until I'd finished. Now I'm left wanting more and hoping for a sequel.

In summary, Secrets of the Other Side is a book that all can enjoy--young, old, gay, straight, male, female. It's a beautiful, funny, and sometimes sad read with touches of mystery and romance.
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